January 1 : Concordius, martyr (c. 178)

Concordius of Spoleto, martyr (c. 178) 

Died c. 175. Saint Concordius was a Roman subdeacon, who spent most of his life alone in prayer and meditation. He was captured during the systematic persecution of Marcus Aurelius and brought to trial at Spoleto, Italy. The governor of Umbria, Torquatus, promised to release the saint if only he would renounce his faith and worship a statue of Jupiter. Concordius refused, so Torquatus order his soldiers to beat him with clubs.

Still Concordius didn't seem to care about Torquatus's threats but treated the governor with scorn. When Torquatus demanded his name, Concordius merely answered, "I have already told you, I am a Christian and confess Jesus Christ."

The governor decided to torture the saint on a rack. While this was being done, Concordius is said to have sung and rejoiced, giving praise to Jesus. Torquatus flung Concordius into a prison for two days. Then the soldiers came to behead him. They made one more attempt to persuade him to sacrifice to an idol. Instead the saint spat at it. This was too much for his persecutors, who executed him immediately (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).